Sayyiduna Imam Hasan al-Basri radhi Allahu ‘anhu beautifully once said that:
I have found nothing of the acts of worship more vigorous than Qiyam (voluntary night prayer).
It was said to him,
Why do those, who pray voluntary at night have the best faces?
That is because they devote themselves to be alone with their Lord, so He Subhanahu wa Ta’ala provides for them a Light by which they walk.
Imam al-Hassan al-Basri rahimahu Llah said:
We laugh and yet – who knows? – perhaps Allah has looked at some of our works and said: “I will not accept anything from you.” Woe to you, son of Adam! Can you fight Allah? Whoever disobeys Allah is fighting Him. By Allah! I have met seventy veterans of Badr. Most of their garments were wool. Had you seen them you would have said they are crazy, and had they seen the best among you they would have said: “Those people will have no part in the Hereafter.” Had they seen the worst among you they would have said: “Those people do not believe in the Day of Reckoning.” I have seen people for whom this world was cheaper than the dust under their feet. I have seen people the like of whom would come home at night, not finding more than his own portion of food, and yet say: “I shall not put all of this into my belly. I shall certainly give some away for Allah’s sake.” Then he would give away some of his food in charity, even if he were more in need of it than its recipient.
– Narrated from `Alqama ibn Marthad by Abu Nu`aym in Hilya al-Awliya’ (1985 ed. 2:134) –
Once Hasan Basri (Radi-Allahu-Anhu) seen a person laughing & remarked;
Young man! Have you successfully crossed the ‘Bridge of Sirat?
Again the Sheikh asked;
Do u know if ur destination is Paradise or Hell?
Again he said
Then why this laughter?
The Sheikh concluded
The righteous salaf were as fearful of their good deeds being squandered, or not being accepted, as the present generation is certain that their neglect will be forgiven.
– Sayyiduna Hasan al-Basri rahimahu Llah –
“It would be evening, and a sahabi would have a meager meal. But his conscious would not allow him to consume that entire meal and he would say, ‘I need to find someone who is destitute and share my meal with him.’ They would go out and search for a beggar. But by Allah! They were more destitute than the beggar they found.”
– Imam Hasan al-Basri rahimahu Llah –
A man said to Hadhrat Hassan al-Basrī (radī Allāhu ‘anhu):
”People sit around you so that they may find fault with you.”
”People are not pleased with their Creator even though He provides for them, so how can they be pleased with another creation like themselves?”
Imam al-Hasan al-Basri رحمه الله said:
It has reached me that when Allah the Mighty and Majestic blesses a people and gives them some good, He asks them to be grateful. If they are grateful, He is all-able to give them more. But if they are ungrateful, He is all-able to turn His blessings into a punishment.
Imam Hassan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy upon him) was once asked:
Why are those people who pray the night prayer so beautiful?
Because Allah beautifies them with His Light while others are sleeping in the dark.
A man said to Imam Hasan al-Basri rahimahu Llah,
“Does Shaytan sleep?”
He smiled and answered,
“If he slept, we would rest.”